1

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What oils are better than ghee for cooking?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 10, 2011 at 10:31 PM

I'm in a debate with a coworker about why cooking with butter (ghee) is better than vegetable oil. Now I know that coconut oil is good and olive oil is good for salad but can you guys shed light on why or if butter is better than most oils?

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on August 11, 2011
at 03:27 AM

I saw the ALE question earlier today and didn't answer because I voted up the answer I agreed with: exogenous ALEs don't matter. The problem with AGEs and ALEs are that sugar is irreversibly bound to YOUR proteins and fats and ruins them. Eating them isn't a big deal. But back to your question. I doubt it makes ALEs because there's no sugar there. To make the ALEs you need sugar and heat.

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on August 11, 2011
at 02:23 AM

In all my previous years of cooking with vegetable oils, and olive oil, I've never refrigerated either of them. Moot point now, as I've dumped them. Interesting.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on August 11, 2011
at 02:14 AM

Really the only way to become deficient in Omega 6 is to eat a fat free diet. Any fat will have some Omega 6 and should be sufficient since the amount needed is really very low. So I do think its a bit misleading when everyone harps on how its essential and we definitely need it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 11, 2011
at 01:07 AM

miked: rendering tallow doesn't produce ALEs does it? I asked this question previously but it wasn't answered pertinently. ALso: wouldn't raw beef fat(eg.) be better than cooking as far as nutrients go or is there no great difference?

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on August 11, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Good answer but just wanted to note that omega 6 isn't bad per say. Both omega 3 & 6 are essential fatty acids, meaning the body can't produce them and they must be obtained from the diet. The problem lies in that omega-6 is so abundant in the western diet and you really only need a tiny bit of each omega 3 & 6 (approx less than 5% of total calories) They also compete with the same receptor, so if your system is flooded with omega 6 it has a hard time actually using any omega 3 that is present. And, yes, this state is inflammatory to the body.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 10, 2011
at 11:53 PM

Oops, I should have differentiated. The question used both ghee and butter, so I was responding to the butter part.

E65fbf7cf9f3febf0f6bfbbd6530e87d

(210)

on August 10, 2011
at 11:17 PM

Ghee has no milk solids. It's clarified butter.

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5 Answers

6
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on August 10, 2011
at 10:40 PM

Butter is very low in polyunsaturated fats, also known as Pufa. There are really two main types of pufa in our diets, omega 3's and omega 6's (linoleic acid). O6's in excess cause inflammation by signalling inflammatory eicosanoids, can promote cancer, can interfere with leptin and other important hormones, and are generally bad. Pufas are also highly unstable, especially when compared to saturated and monounsaturated fats, which can cause oxidative stress in the body. Considering that oxidized LDL likely causes heart disease, this is very undesirable. Vegetable oils have tons of O6, olive oil has some but is fine in moderation and when not cooked, and butter has very little.

I'd recommend you read Kurt Harris' post that discusses this topic much better than I could and in much more depth than my cliffs notes version here.

http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2011/1/29/there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-macronutrient-part-i-fats.html

While you're at it, I'd highly recommend you read the rest of his blog too. It is superb.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on August 11, 2011
at 02:14 AM

Really the only way to become deficient in Omega 6 is to eat a fat free diet. Any fat will have some Omega 6 and should be sufficient since the amount needed is really very low. So I do think its a bit misleading when everyone harps on how its essential and we definitely need it.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on August 11, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Good answer but just wanted to note that omega 6 isn't bad per say. Both omega 3 & 6 are essential fatty acids, meaning the body can't produce them and they must be obtained from the diet. The problem lies in that omega-6 is so abundant in the western diet and you really only need a tiny bit of each omega 3 & 6 (approx less than 5% of total calories) They also compete with the same receptor, so if your system is flooded with omega 6 it has a hard time actually using any omega 3 that is present. And, yes, this state is inflammatory to the body.

4
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on August 10, 2011
at 10:57 PM

In addition to what mari said, which is all correct. When actually cooking with "fats" to use the generic term, you have to look at what heat does to them. Saturated fat is very heat stable, all it does is melt. It doesn't go through any chemical reactions. Polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils) are very heat unstable. When heated they will oxidize and become free radicals which is bad! That's why you can keep things like coconut oil out on your counter but you have to refrigerate vegetable oils (and fish oil!).

Since butter, ghee, coconut oil are all mostly saturated they are great to cook with. Vegetable oils should never be used in cooking because of how unstable they are.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on August 11, 2011
at 03:27 AM

I saw the ALE question earlier today and didn't answer because I voted up the answer I agreed with: exogenous ALEs don't matter. The problem with AGEs and ALEs are that sugar is irreversibly bound to YOUR proteins and fats and ruins them. Eating them isn't a big deal. But back to your question. I doubt it makes ALEs because there's no sugar there. To make the ALEs you need sugar and heat.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 11, 2011
at 01:07 AM

miked: rendering tallow doesn't produce ALEs does it? I asked this question previously but it wasn't answered pertinently. ALso: wouldn't raw beef fat(eg.) be better than cooking as far as nutrients go or is there no great difference?

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on August 11, 2011
at 02:23 AM

In all my previous years of cooking with vegetable oils, and olive oil, I've never refrigerated either of them. Moot point now, as I've dumped them. Interesting.

2
0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on August 11, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Just wanted to share how much I enjoy and appreciate this list and the members -- I have never been a part of a more knowledgeable and collegial online forum! I'm amazed on a regular basis at the quality of information that is provided, and the level of knowledge that so many members have.

Awesome sauce!

1
Dec2b5814c850b2b2510bd0a87bb4642

on August 10, 2011
at 11:02 PM

We use primarily Coconut oil because of the added nutritional content. It's one of the few oils that can be cooked at a very high heat and still retain it's nutrition and is one of the safest and best oils to use.

"benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc."

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 10, 2011
at 10:55 PM

I'm sure there are others here who could give a much better reason as to the why of all this, but I find tallow and lard to be superior to butter for cooking. Butter still has milk solids that tend to burn at moderate to high temps.

E65fbf7cf9f3febf0f6bfbbd6530e87d

(210)

on August 10, 2011
at 11:17 PM

Ghee has no milk solids. It's clarified butter.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 10, 2011
at 11:53 PM

Oops, I should have differentiated. The question used both ghee and butter, so I was responding to the butter part.

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